12. Nissan Silvia S14
Known as a Silvia or 240 SX on other markets, this was Nissan’s most affordable sports car in the mid-90’s. Nissan introduced it in 1993, and the car world instantly praised it for its handling, rear-wheel drive and sharp steering. This was a light car with good weight distribution and decent power from four-cylinder engines.
In stock form, S14 had from 150 to 220 HP if you chose the optional turbo engine, which were decent numbers for the period. Like all Japanese sports cars from the era, the Silvia had fantastic tuning potential, as well as dependable mechanics. This meant enthusiastic owners could easily up their power levels to over 300 HP or more and transform the Silvia into a supercar.
Since it was so light and well-balanced straight from the factory, the Silvia soon became a favorite car for drift races. It is still one of the favorite choices, even 20 years after they produced it. This is a fantastic achievement for any car.
13. Mazda RX-7
Mazda introduced the first RX-7 model in the late 70’s, but the car on this list is the third generation. They presented it in 1992 and discontinued it in 2002. If you know a thing or two about Japanese sports cars, you know that the RX-7 has a special place in the nomenclature of performance cars from the “Land of the Rising Sun.”
The reason is the engine. In contrast to other cars on the market with conventional piston engines, the RX-7 had a rotary Wankel engine since the beginning. The rotary engine has many advantages over regular engines. Wankels are much smaller, simpler, capable of higher rpm and when equipped with a turbocharger, extremely powerful. The third generation RX-7 had several versions on offer.
It produces from 252 to 276 HP and has a vivid performance thanks to its small weight and perfect balance. Of course, tuners have developed numerous add-ons and aftermarket parts for more power and torque. But, this interesting feature can be the biggest problem of the RX-7 since Wankel engines are not regular engines. Sourcing parts and services could be a problem.
On the other hand, Wankel engines were always unreliable, so maintenance is a problem. However, great looks, fantastic performance, and innovative technology make the third generation RX-7 one of the greatest Japanese sports cars of the 90’s. You should grab this true modern classic before the prices start rising fast.
If one of these classic Japanese 90’s cars has caught your eye, be sure to move fast before they are gone or priced too high out of your range. Be sure to check their service and accident history, too.